Friday, December 30

Fun Finds Friday #134

  • Wearing Vans makes me feel like a kid again... even more so if they're Toy Story themed!
  • I'm not usually a fan of white tees... but come on...
  • Am I totally crazy for wanting a napsack?! They're so ridiculously neat!
  • I really really want a monmon cat tattoo.

Also....

Happy Friday! Happy new year! See ya in 2017!

Wednesday, December 28

Secret Santa

I will admit, I'm not the most well-versed person on social media... I check Facebook only a handful of times per week, Instagram about once a day, and I legitimately forget that I have a Twitter account for months at a time. I only use Snapchat with family and close friends, and as far as Pinterest goes, I stopped using it for anything other than storage years ago... but that's about all the "socializing" I do when it comes to the internet.

That being said, despite not fully immersing myself, I've been lucky to meet some pretty awesome people on some of those platforms! About two years ago I posted on Instagram about taking Christmas cookie orders if anyone was interested... Erin, who had been following me for a while, was the only person who took me up on it. Since she lives in Philly, I told her I'd deliver them in person instead of mailing them. When we met up, we immediately hit it off! Since then, we've hung out a few more times, specifically at the crafty parties she likes to host. This year, she also invited me to be part of a giant cross-country Secret Santa she hosts!

Everyone was asked to post a little blurb about what they like/want for Christmas, and then she randomly assigned everyone a Secret Santa. We had a few weeks to shop, wrap, and mail out our gifts, and we've all been keeping up with the progress and various gifts through Facebook. Now that pretty much all the gifts have been received, I figured it would be okay to post about it. I had a ton of fun doing this, and I really hope she organizes it again next year. If she doesn't, I plan on doing one myself! There's just something so gratifying about curating a gift box for someone - especially someone you've never met!

The person I was assigned also lives in Philly, and this was her blurb:
I like baking supplies (think cookbooks, fun cookie cutters and cake decorating things). Also love hot chocolate and teas. Also fun stationary, like notebooks and fun colorful pens. I've also really been into adult coloring books (fun ones like doctor who, Harry Potter, etc)


Um, has there ever been anyone more perfect for me to shop for?! Baking, tea, and stationary - yes, please! I got her some Pokemon cookie cutters, a rubber spatula, a few of my favorite teas, some notepads, a Doctor Who coloring book, my favorite colorful pens, and I sewed her a pencil case to store the pens in. She loved the cookie cutters! I requested photos for when she finally uses them.


Here was my blurb:
I love cats, dinosaurs, tea, stationary, chocolate, gin, puns, pizza, ridiculous patterns, stickers for my planner, heartfelt words of encouragement, and bohemian inspired jewelry/clothes/housewares. I also collect clocks, and salt & pepper shakers.


My gift arrived on Tuesday! She sent me two S&P shaker sets - a vintage cat one from Etsy that she had to dispute when it was never sent, and a set of dinosaurs that she bought after she thought the cat ones would never arrive... the Etsy seller did end up sending the originals after she contacted Etsy, and they arrived on the same day as the dinosaur ones! She also sent me two planners, a lucky cat pin, a pretty scarf, and some really cool holographic dinosaur stickers. Yes! Love it!




If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you had an awesome holiday! Ours was low key... I made pancakes, potatoes, bacon, and sausage for breakfast, and we watched Christmas movies all day, with naps in between.... basically what we do every Sunday already ;)

Have you ever participated in a secret santa? Do you want to? I may attempt to organize a blogger-to-blogger secret santa for next year! Not quite sure how I would go about that yet, but it sounds like fun!

Wednesday, December 21

Snapshots

I've been M.I.A. for a little bit here, but no apologies! December always seems to be a busy month for everyone, myself included. Work has been heavier on orders these past few weeks, so I've been more exhausted than usual. Definitely looking forward to a three day weekend and a very relaxing Christmas. We're not going anywhere this year - the plan is to make brunch at home and watch a bunch of Christmas movies on Sunday! Here's a peek at the past few weeks.
























Favorite things lately....
  • Pizza. Always pizza. We have a friend who has perfected making his at home, and they had us over for dinner a few weeks ago. I brought dessert (apple crisps), of course! And instead of going out for dinner, Shawn and I tried our hand at making homemade pizza to celebrate our third anniversary last week. It was really tasty, but I still have some work to do on that crust. Hm... looks like I'm just going to have to keep making pizzas until I get it right!
  • I recently got the new iPhone 7s... I switched over from an android - I was skeptical at first but now I love it! The camera is amazing, and you can look forward to a ton more portraits of the cats. No seriously, a ton. Since, you know, I don't really take photos of much else. Do you follow me on Instagram yet? Get your weekly dose of Lloyd and Sylvester there.
  • My friend hired me to make some sliders and dinner rolls for her sister's rehearsal dinner (see above). Pricing everything out and making sure our new apartment's oven was up for the task was quite the adventure. I delivered them in person and helped make veggie bouquet center pieces for the tables - they came out so cute! This was my first official catering order, and also my first time seeing my friend since we graduated high school (over ten years ago!!!), so it was a pretty eventful day.
  • Watching the sun set with an airplane window view - wow! Cameras never quite capture it. My New Orleans experience wasn't exactly what you might expect - I walked a whole heck of a lot (with the wrong shoes for such a task... not sure why I didn't think I'd be doing a lot of walking), spent a lot of time with my friend's 7-year old son (we played War with his toy soldiers... that was definitely a first for me; apparently I don't have the imagination I used to have), and I ate more shrimp over the course of three days than I have in the past three years. Okay, maybe that's exactly what you'd expect a trip to New Orleans to be. Oh, and street music!
  • I taught my first yoga class ever on Friday! I was equal parts excited and terrified. Eight people showed up! I knew all of them except one; not sure if that made it easier or more difficult. Everyone said I did great, I'm a natural, and they really enjoyed it. So, there's that! Hopefully the next few classes won't be as mentally and physically trying. It seriously took everything out of me - I went out to dinner with a friend afterwards and was ready to fall asleep on the bar top at 7:30pm. On the other hand, it's so satisfying to be able to say I've taught my first class! I'm glad that's out of the way.

Also! I'm not allowed to have my phone on me at work, hence why I don't ever take photos of anything I do there. But my boss recently took a timelapse of me making chocolate croissants - check me out in action! (If you're in a feed reader, you'll probably have to go to the actual blog to see it.)

Friday, December 2

Fun Finds Friday #133


Also...
  • Can't wait to use this on this year's holiday cards!
  • What do you think about this more accurate world map?
  • Mood boards that win.
  • It's almost the new year... is it time for a life audit?
  • A similar thing happened to a friend of mine recently... ask yourself is this a good time?
  • I love this! Who doesn't love getting gifts in the mail?!

Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, November 30

Thanksgiving Salad

I hope you all had an awesome Thanksgiving! We spent it with Shawn's mom, his brother, wife, and their 3-month old baby. It was our first time meeting our nephew- what a curious little dude! He was all smiles and laughter. I'm pretty sure I've stated it here before, I'm not usually a fan of babies... but he captured my heart a little bit - maybe because he's family! I can't wait until he gets a little older though... right now he weighs as much as our cats do. (Okay, I realize we have chubby cats, but still!)

I meant to get this recipe posted before Thanksgiving, but that clearly didn't happen. Oh well, if you still have leftovers in your fridge, give this a try. If you ate them all already, give this a try anyway! It's inspired by a salad I had from Trader Joe's. Their version left a little something to be desired though, so I made my own. I'm a fan of hearty salads - if I'm going to eat a salad, it needs to be filled with all the things... protein, something sweet, something tart, and something crunchy. This salad has all of those things, and it's perfect for this time of year!


Thanksgiving Salad

Makes enough for 4 large salads*
  • 3 small heads romaine lettuce**
  • 3 big handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 pound chicken or turkey breast
  • 3 cups brussels sprouts, chopped into quarters
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled & diced
  • olive oil, to drizzle
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cups sliced toasted almonds
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • lemon vinaigrette***

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lay chicken/turkey breast on a sheet pan- salt and pepper both sides and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. Do the same thing with the brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes on a different sheet pan. Bake until chicken/turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165°F and until the veggies start to brown and soften, approximately 30 minutes.
Chop the romaine and baby spinach into bite size pieces and toss into a large mixing bowl. Top with chopped chicken/turkey, roasted brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes, almonds, and dried cranberries. Drizzle with desired amount of lemon vinaigrette. Toss the salad until coated, and enjoy!


* If you're like me and just want to have salad ingredients on hand for yourself for the week... I prep the chicken and veggies ahead of time, and store them all in separate containers. Then I can assemble a salad for lunch as needed. I got 4 lunches out of these ingredients, hence the 4 salad yield.

** You can use any salad greens you like - I usually go for arugula or spring mix, but organic romaine was on super sale the week I made this, so that's what I bought!

*** I usually make my own salad dressing, but I was lazy this time around. Besides, why mess with a good thing?

Saturday, November 19

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies


As a baker, the question I get asked most often is, "What's your favorite thing to bake?". Well, the answer is quite simple, really... my favorite thing to bake is my favorite thing to eat! I'm pretty easy to please when it comes to sweet treats, mostly because I'm really not that into sweet treats. (Yep, I said it.) Don't get me wrong, I like a good breakfast pastry every now and then, but when it comes to desserts and snacky things? I'm satisfied with a handful of fruit, or a few pieces of a chocolate bar. But, I also love a good cookie... they're simple, and quick to make, and I don't feel toooooo bad eating a handful of them. So a simple batter, with some pieces of chocolate scattered throughout - that's my favorite thing to bake!

While I was working on the new blog layout, I realized that my recipe for chocolate chip cookies is kind of outdated! I've tweaked it a bit since that was posted, and since it's a weekly staple in our house, I thought I should do you all a favor and give you the updated recipe. The old one is good too, but I think the new one is better. The major differences are - a higher baking temperature, a little bit more flour, and homemade brown sugar. Yeahhhhhhhh.


I was telling Shawn this morning that I make some kick-ass recipes, but I am not a food photographer. I really just shudder at the thought of staging food for the sake of photography - there's nothing at all wrong with food photography! I'm amazed by the photos other people take for their recipe posts, but the whole set up is just not my idea of a good time. And this has kept me from posting as many recipes as I would like to. I feel like every year I make a grand statement that I'm going to post more recipes, and every year I fall flat because my pictures just aren't good enough. You know what? I have to get over that. So, I'm not going to go out and buy a bunch of plates, napkins, and utensils to make my photos fancier, so what? I feel like there's kind of an appeal to just seeing a big pile of cookies on a plate, or dinner rolls still cooling on the pan they were baked on. My photos may not be anything special, but you can bet your ass the recipes that accompany them are well worth making!

Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup homemade* brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Beat the butter and brown sugar together until fluffy and pale yellow in color.
Add the egg and vanilla extract, mix until fully combined.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt, then mix those into the batter until just combined.
Mix in the chocolate chips.
Scoop dough into 2-tablespoon sized balls, flatten them slightly with your palm, and place them in rows about 2 inches apart on your prepared sheet pans. I usually fit 15 on each of my pans.
Bake for 12 minutes - well, that's the magic number with our current oven. Do a test batch, and adjust the time as needed if you want them more or less crispy. I judge by color, so I look for a pale golden brown and then I pull 'em. Let them cool on the sheet pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack... or straight into your mouth.

The cookies keep well over night when stored in an airtight container, though honestly, if you have any left over, you're really not living life correctly.


Wanna know a secret? The un-baked dough keeps really well in an airtight container stored in the fridge. When you're ready to bake 'em, just set up your sheet pans and let the dough come to room temperature while your oven preheats, then bake as directed. If you're like us, you'll just have a constant batch of cookie dough on hand for those days when you feel like baking a few off on a whim....


* You don't have to use homemade brown sugar... but it's so easy to make, so why wouldn't you?!
Here's how you do it: Combine 1 cup of white sugar with 2 tablespoons of molasses, and let your mixer/hand beaters/whatever beat the two together until next thing you know, you're looking at beautiful fluffy brown sugar. If you want darker brown sugar, add a touch more molasses. Lighter brown sugar? Well, you'll have to start over for that one ;) And that's it! You can even make a larger batch ahead of time; just store it in an airtight container and give it a shake before you use it. I don't buy brown sugar anymore unless I'm in a pinch, or need a ton of it!



Friday, November 18

This just in!

If you're reading from a blog reader, you should really hop on over and check out the blog. I've been working on a new layout for a while, and it just went live! I'm pretty freakin' proud of this one. I kept trying to keep this space minimalist, because that's what I'm attracted to when I look at other blogs... but I finally came to the realization that that's just not me. I'm quirky and colorful, and I finally made a layout that reflects that. (Well, replace colorful with textured, and we're golden.) Also, my love of stationary and assorted paper goods prevails with this one, and I think that's pretty rad. I love all the layers, and I really hope you do too! And I finally figured out this whole google fonts business too so, woohoo!


Not tooooo much has changed aside from the overall aesthetic. Social media links are both up at the top menu and in the sidebar. Popular (or what I deem to be popular) categories are the clickable polaroids in the sidebar. Side note: check out the travel and recipe pages - I went polaroid crazy! I plan on posting some old photos from trips I took before this blog was even born, to fill up the travel page a bit more. And there should also be more recipes coming your way! (Keep your eyes open for one of my favorites tomorrow!)

Oh, and I decided to do away with Disqus for the comments. So, none of the comments from the past 2+ years show up any more :/ Disqus stopped syncing with Blogger a few years ago, and it has been frustrating trying to make it work with my past two layouts. I got tired of no longer getting notifications when someone would comment - I try to respond to all your comments, but I kept missing some because I would have to physically check each post to see if there were any!


The most daunting part of this overhaul was the recipe page, honestly. I've been unhappy with the look of it for a very long time now, and the whole polaroid idea gave me a chance to spiff up the page a little. But I have 28 recipes! That's way more than I realized, considering I rarely post any. So that was 28 "polaroids" I had to make and upload... and then 28 polaroids I had to edit and re-upload once I noticed something I didn't like about them. And now I have to spend an hour or two reformatting all the older recipe posts so that everything looks uniform... I would have done that before going live with the new layout, but fuck it, I couldn't wait any longer!

The sidebar photo of me is courtesy of my friend Rebecca. I had her snap a few photos of me the other day because I needed one to go alongside a mini biography for my yoga teacher page on my studio's website. (I don't graduate until February, but we have to teach our first class before then- I'm teaching mine mid-December!) She snapped some really great ones, so I thought it would be neat to use them in this space too. I really don't have many (decent or recent) photos of myself... I'm always behind the camera, and being in front of it was so awkward.

Anywho, I hope you guys are as stoked about the new layout as I am! I seriously can't stop looking at it! I'm all about embracing me lately, and this is one more step in that direction.

Friday, November 4

Fun Finds Friday #132


I've been coveting comfy pajamas and slippers this week, so let's take a look at a few:
  • My kind of pajamas. All I want is something soft, loose, and comfy!
  • These slippers look so cozy- our hardwood floors make my feet so cold!
  • I can totally see myself lounging around the apartment in this.
  • I love this set too!

Also....
  • Our world is host to some pretty amazing systems.
  • There's a difference between east coast and west coast butter?!
  • I wish I had a need for this awesome doorstop!
  • Bunch of smart asses.
  • Cats are still/will always be the best thing on the internet.

Thursday, November 3

Snapshots











Lately...
  • Hm, cats and food... food and cats. Those are pretty much the only things I've been taking photos of for the past month and a half. So, sorry if these photos seem repetitive. Actually, I'm not sorry. What? They're just so gosh darn cute!
  • My family all pitched in and gifted me a brand new mixer for my birthday! So YES, OMG YES, to making cookies again. I mean... I could make cookies without a mixer, and just mix it all by hand, but who on Earth wants to do that?! So thankfully, there will be more lazy cookies and bread in my future.
  • I fell in love with a jumpsuit. Not on me (never on me- these damn hips just get in the way)... but do you see that ridiculous pattern? Does it make you want to get up and dance? Does it remind you of all the terrible clothing from the late 80's/early 90's? I think it's amazing. And I plan on turning it into pants and a crop top. And I really can't promise I won't wear them both at the same time...
  • A friend of mine hosted a succulent terrarium making party, and it was awesome. One of these days, I'm going to steal that idea and host my own. One of these days.
  • I wake up at 3:30am for work... (yes, I know, that's crazy-sauce, but I live the life of a baker) so on my days off, I'm happy if I sleep in until 6:30am. The upside to waking up that early on my days off though? I've been able to watch the sunrise. Nothing beats those pink and blue hues! Also, did you spot the face?

Tuesday, October 25

So this is 29....


I am officially 29 years old as of today Saturday! (I meant to get this post up over the weekend... oops!) I've been alive for almost three whole decades... isn't that a scary thought? I'm 29 years old... and 29 years young, and I feel both every day. Do you ever stop feeling like a child? I mean, will any of us ever really feel grown up? Because some days I feel like I'm a teenager all over again. And I think as long as we have our parents around, we'll always feel like kids. Like we don't know enough (or we know way too much), and we still need help with things that seem silly. I think that is growing up, but I don't really know what being a grown up means. If it means paying bills on time, and budgeting, and planning for the future, then yeah, I guess I'm not too bad at being a grown up. But those things also still scare me, and I don't know if that feeling ever goes away. But, here's to 29 - the last year of my third decade!

I don't usually make a big deal about my birthday, except to treat it as MY DAY. My day to do whatever the heck I want! Which usually means eating things like cookies and Nutella, and watching terrible tv shows, and drinking gin. (No different than most days, if we're being honest...) This year was different though! My parents were in town, so I drove out to see them and my siblings joined us for lunch. We always have a great time as a family... too good of a time! I'm certain we kept our waiter entertained (he was cracking up alongside us). And on Sunday I attended a backbends workshop at my yoga studio - love me some backbends! I also stayed up late to watch the season premier of The Walking Dead... (let's just not talk about that, ok?) Monday, Shawn and I went out to lunch, followed by an afternoon of binge-watching Netflix (I've got some good recommendations for you guys!). And today I treated myself to a massage - my first real one. It was awesome. And that concludes my birthday weekend! I never intended for it to turn into a long weekend... but October has been a busy month! 28 was a busy year!

29 is... (or rather, 28 was...)
  • Renewing your driver's license before it expires, and making sure you go in for the photo on a good hair day.
  • Splurging on black jeans with your birthday coupon instead of the bag or the skirt you want... because you know the jeans are more practical for your lifestyle.
  • ...and then returning them two days later and getting the bag instead anyway, because fuck it, it's your god-damn birthday and you're gonna treat yourself.
  • Also treating yourself to a new dress. And a massage. Because it's your birthday. And because some things are good for the brain, and some things are good for the body. And neither are good for the wallet. We're still learning here.
  • Learning to ask for help when you need it. (Why is asking for help such a shameful thing in our society?!)
  • Pursuing your happiness. You're still figuring out what it is, but you sure as hell know what it's not.
  • Taking it easy every few days. And being okay with that. You're still young enough to feel the itch to constantly be doing something, but old enough to realize when your body needs a break too.
  • Doing things for yourself. (See above: Happiness) I don't mean doing your own laundry and buying your own groceries.... I mean thinking about what you want to do for you, and finding a way to make it happen. There is always a way.
  • Appreciating other people. Or at least attempting to find something to appreciate in each person. Hint: It's not always easy.
  • Being yourself. You're amazing! Realize it, and embrace it.

That last one is important. Birthdays are just another day, another mark on the calendar of a year gone by far too quickly. Take the time to reflect about what you learned that year, and how you grew as a person. Chances are, you're a better person coming out than you were going in. Isn't that beautiful? That's what birthdays are about. Well, that plus cake and shiny new things....

Friday, October 21

Fun Finds Friday #131


Also....
  • An incredibly neat & involved project.
  • This is the cutest thing I've seen all week!
  • I love this dress! But apparently my boobs wouldn't fit in there...
  • Bought myself a new mug, and it makes me smile.
  • Hair helmets! (And then some.)
  • I wish my textbooks had been this interesting.

Happy Friday!!!!

Tuesday, October 18

Rainbow Lloyd



I recently bought some window film for the door in our kitchen, purely for the sake of a little extra privacy. I didn't realize it would create some pretty amazing rainbows throughout our kitchen and living room too! Here's a little bit of rainbow Lloyd for you on this fine Tuesday afternoon.

Friday, October 14

Fun Finds Friday #130



Also....

Happy Friday!!!!!

Thursday, October 13

Brain Blabber

In light of my recent determination to be more "myself" here, I thought I'd try a stream of consciousness post. I'm hoping to make a series of these, maybe once a month (but don't hold me to that - please, I'm serious, don't.) and I'm calling it brain blabber... because that's pretty much what you're about to get. A whole lotta jumbled thoughts on one page. Are you ready?


Right now there's a whole chicken (yes, a whole f*cking five pound(!) chicken) poaching on my stove. I have never poached a whole chicken before. You know why? Because I don't have a pot big enough to do that in... of course I realized this too late, and I'm just going with it. The water jussssssst barely covers the chicken, and may will probably boil over, but whatever. I'm making chicken soup, and if you wanna make a proper chicken soup, you have to poach the chicken. I don't really know how long that takes though... it's 5:30pm now, so hopefully it will be done by dinner time? Clearly poor planning on my part. I was at work earlier today and decided that I would go home and poach a chicken. I also decided that tomorrow I'm making squash, sweet potato, turkey chili. It's the season for soup and chili, right? If I'm going to do this, I may as well go all out. I bought an acorn squash... I've never cooked an acorn squash before. I don't do cold weather squash. But what the hell - I'm going to try it! Hopefully it's a success and I'll have two new recipes for you soon. (Ha!) I say that every time I make something, right? When was the last time I actually posted a recipe here? Hmm... looks like March. Yeah. Let's work on that.

Yesterday I had lunch with a friend and we got to talking about blogs. I told her I'm working on a new layout for mine that I am super excited about! (You guys, I am so super excited about the new layout!!!! I can't wait to get it live! Ahhh! What am I doing posting my thoughts when I should be working on the new layout?!?!) She said she has been wanting to start a blog for a while, but she can't decide on what the content should be because she has a few different directions she wants to take it. I had to laugh, because I don't feel as though this blog has a particular direction... I post about daily life, cats, traveling, and (occasionally) recipes. But isn't that the beauty of blogs these days? There's something for everyone. I mean really though - think of something you want to read more about and I'm certain you'll find a blog about it. And as we were talking, it occurred to me that the blogs I've really been enjoying lately aren't about the content. I mean sure, I read certain blogs for the content, but the ones I really enjoy, I read because of the blogger's voice. I read them because I want to know more about that person, or because the way they write makes them feel familiar to me. It's like... what I'm going to call the Seinfeld-syndrome. They could write about absolutely nothing but I would still enjoy it because of the voice of the writing. I guess my point is, it's not always about the content. And I struggle with that! (That's why I'm writing this post.) I think I forget that it doesn't always have to be pretty pictures and tailored paragraphs. Sometimes stuff like this (this brain blabber) is what people want to read too. Because that's what I enjoy reading! So, I should embrace that.

I turn 29 next Saturday. And I'm excited! And yet, not? I'm just really excited to be that much closer to turning 30. Is that weird? I feel like most people are afraid of turning 30... and here I am all like "Come on, let's get on with this already!". Guh. The last year of my 20's. Am I supposed to do something big? Like one of those 30 before 30 things that people do - you know, that thing where you list 30 things you want to do before you turn 30? Ha! My head is so far in the future most of the time that I don't even think I could come up with 30 things I want to do within the next year. Hm. Perhaps that's thought for food, err, food for thought. I guess I have a little over a week to come up with a list then, hm? Oh goodness, did I just commit myself to this 30 before 30 thing? I think I just did.

You guys. This chicken water thing I have on the stove smells SO GOSH DARN GOOD. If salmonella weren't a thing, I would totally have a taste right now. How do I know when it's done cooking?! Cooking chicken kinda freaks me out a bit - I'm always so afraid I'm going to under or over cook it! I guess that's why I have one of those thermometer stick things...

I am so tired right now. I work Sundays thru Thursdays, 4am til noon. I'm two months into the new job and that early wake-up time is my biggest struggle. Every night I try to be in bed by 8:30pm, and every night I find myself putzing around until about 9:30pm. Which means every afternoon I just want to collapse into our couch for a two-hour nap. And even the nights when I do manage to go to bed early and get at least seven hours of sleep, I'm still tired when I wake up because I'm usually waking up in the middle of a dream. I feel like I just can't win here! But I think it's worth it, because I do really like this job. It's funny, one of the things I like about it is the same thing I don't like about it. It's the same thing every day. I'm so not used to that! Every other job I've worked had variety to it, but this one is the same tasks, same schedule, every single day. And I really like that, because it means I know exactly what I'm walking into every morning. But I also don't like that, because sometimes I need some variety in my daily life. So it's a struggle sometimes... the early mornings and the lack of variety. But I like my boss and my colleagues and I've learned so many new things, so I think it's worth it. I also love that my boss speaks to me in French (because he's French, and I'm French); I don't get many opportunities to speak French anymore, so it has been really great practice for me. It also means we have conversations that the rest of my colleagues don't understand, so I feel kinda special in that way ;) It's funny, my whole life I attributed certain qualities and mannerisms to my parents/family, because I didn't know any French people outside of my family. But now, I realize that a lot of the things I thought were just personal quirks, are actually cultural attributes. Like, oh, my aloofness and directness is actually just me being French. (Maybe that's why people think the French are rude?) That's kind of cool! I wonder what else is a cultural thing? I want to meet more French people!

Okay. It may be nap time. I know I have that chicken on the stove... but I can doze off for twenty minutes or so, right? Don't answer that.... I don't want to burn our apartment down either. I'll just find something silly to watch on Netflix. Got any recommendations? I just finished Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt. Friends have recommended that I watch Chef's Table. And My Psycho Ex-Girlfriend. Oh! And there's a new season of New Girl to watch! Yesssssss.

Pssst! That photo up there is just a cropped view from our balcony... We have view of a few buildings and a parking lot, but I tell Shawn to just look at the trees in the distance and imagine we're living in the mountains somewhere. If you crop out all the buildings, it kinda works!

Friday, September 30

Fun Finds Friday #129


  • I've tried my hand at making kimonos, but this one gives me all kinds of new ideas!
  • We have a map theme going on in our living room, and we've been looking for a map of NJ to add to our decor...
  • This pillow would fit right in too!
  • Been thinking about these pants a lot lately. They look so comfortable! I don't own any linen pieces.

Also....

Happy Friday!!!!

Wednesday, September 28

Pin Round-Up

It's finally autumn - my favorite season! That time of year when you can wear sweaters, scarves, boots, and jackets! (Well, if you live in the northeast...) Speaking of jackets, I bought myself a denim one months ago, back when the weather was waaaaay too warm to wear it. I never thought I'd be a denim jacket wearer, but it got sent to me in one of my trunks, and I fell in love. Shawn thinks it's super ridiculous 90's. I love that it instantly makes anything you wear with it casual, so I fully intend to wear it over all my dresses! I've also been looking at pins and patches like crazy since I got it. I haven't bought any yet, but I thought it would be fun to do a little round-up of my favorites. So, here ya go!


the future is naps | ugh | check out my whiskers | don't be a prick | green dinosaur | pizza cat | t-rex | mystical cat | yoga bunny | chicago dog | pastel planet | fox | squirrel | cat lady | moon phase | IPA

Are you currently re-living the 90's with a denim jacket of your own? What pins are you diggin' these days?

Friday, September 23

Snapshots














Lately...
  • I booked a flight to New Orleans for a long weekend in December! My friend Jess moved down there a few months ago, and I snagged a cheap flight as soon as I found one. I've never been there before; I can't wait to explore!
  • The new job is getting more and more comfortable. I'm still working at (what feels like) a slow pace, but everyone seems pleased, myself included. I'm so happy I made the switch!
  • I rode seven miles on my bike the other day! It may not seem like much, but I can't honestly remember the last time I did anything other than ride around the neighborhood on any bike I've ever owned. A friend and I rode to get pizza and beer a few towns over - definitely have to do that more often. Side note: I know I'm "in shape" because of my yoga practice, but five minutes on my bike gets me super out of breath every time. I definitely need to start riding on a regular basis so that my muscles can get used to it.
  • I bought myself a small sketch pad. I've been really inspired by the row homes across the street at work - I'd like to try my hand at doing rough pen illustrations of urban landscapes. I figured buying a sketch pad was the first step... now I just need to start using it!

It hasn't all been fun and games around here...
  • My Kitchenaid mixer broke. I was making chocolate chip cookies for Shawn's birthday last week and noticed tiny metal shards in the dough... further investigation showed that a screw came loose at some point, which slowly shredded and tore through the metal rim inside the head of the mixer. Who knows how long we've been eating things with metal shards in them?! My warranty was only good for one year, and the mixer is over six years old. I don't know what to do! I'm really torn up because baking weather is finally upon us!
  • Lloyd has a UTI... poor little guy can't catch a break this year! Hopefully it's nothing serious and clears up quickly. He is a trooper!

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